This is a sponsored post. I was compensated financially by California Bartlett Pears.
All thoughts and opinions about these pears are my own.
Hey there! It’s been forever since I dropped in to say hello. I’ve been up to my eyeballs
in vegetables and I’m so happy to report that my manuscript for Vegetables: A Love Story
is finally completed! I’m so darn proud of everything I’ve written and the recipes are
soooooo good. I can't wait for you to see them in about one year! The manuscript is
in the hands of my trusty publisher (TouchWood Editions), and now I’m just trying to
relax and get some summertime fun in before I get the edits handed back to me and
the work starts once again. It feels quite strange to not be sitting at the computer,
writing the recipes and stories. I mean, this is what I’ve been doing for the better part
of the year, and it’s kinda hard to train my brain to think of something else. I think
this means an escape is required. Somewhere quiet and woodsy and not too many
people around, because COVID. If not, then my backyard will have to do, alongside
a good book and a cold beverage or two. I have to admit that it’s been fun to cook
something that’s not for the cookbook, and this pizza is what I’m loving lately. It’s
got caramelized pears, for Pete’s sake, so you know it’s gonna be awesome!
My love for pears runs deep. It always has and always will. Pears whisper their flavour,
rather than shout it from the rooftops like many of the fruits currently having their
moment Their subtle sweetness is still something I crave in this season of peaches
and cherries. For a fruit lover like me, I’m pretty much in heaven! That’s why when I
saw baskets full of beautiful California Bartlett Pears at my local supermarket, my
heart leapt a little. They are grown on 60 small family farms, which are leaders in
natural pest control and fertilizer reduction. These sweet and juicy pears are only
available for several weeks in July and August which means I can get my pear love
in the summer and then in the fall with the pears from beautiful British Columbia.
It’s a win win for me!
California pears make for ideal, healthy summer snacking as they are loaded with
antioxidants, are a great source of fibre, and are rich in Vitamin C, potassium and folic
acid. To enjoy the ripeness you prefer, you can buy greener Bartletts to ripen at home.
As they ripen and become more sweet and juicy, they will turn a golden yellow colour.
I love eating them out of hand, as their flavour is just so darn fine. But, if you know me,
you know I’m going to cook something delicious with them, too. I mean, just look at
The crust is one of my favourite recipes. It’s so easy to throw together, and it makes
enough for 2 pizzas. Freeze one portion for future pizza! But, this pizza is truly
about the caramelized pears. Just give some slices of California Bartletts a swirl
in some brown sugar caramel goodness, and let me tell you, it’s so hard to not eat
them all just like that. Their luscious sweetness is a natural fit on this pizza as it
partners so well with the salty, crispy prosciutto and melty cheese. I added in
some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, but hot sauce drizzled on at the end would
do the trick too. To balance out the sweet/salty/spicy, I add a flourish of balsamic
reduction for some acidity and some arugula for bite. It’s good to eat your greens!
My basil plants have been super productive this summer, and I’m adding their
verdant leaves to everything. Plus, the basil makes the pizza look so darn pretty,
am I right?
This pizza is a fabulous way to enjoy Barletts from California. Thank goodness I’ve got
some dough in the freezer so I can make it again later this week. I’m hooked! For many
other delicious recipes featuring California Bartlett Pears, go to www.calpear.com.
Simple Pizza Dough:
1 cup warm water
1 pkg (or 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2-3 cups all-purpose flour, or a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing bowl
1. Stir together the water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. It should bubble and froth -
about 5 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour, salt and olive oil and stir until the dough comes
together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 8 minutes, until it is
elastic. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky. Alternatively, mix the water, yeast,
and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. After it bubbles and froths, attach the dough
hook and add 2 ½ cups of flour, salt and olive oil and beat the dough on medium speed
for about 5-6 minutes, until it is elastic. If the dough seems too wet, add a bit more flour
2. When the dough is ready, place it in a large greased bowl, being sure to turn it over a
few times so it is well greased. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel
and let it rest in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it is doubled in size.
3. Punch the dough down, cover it again and let it rest for 5 minutes. Divide it in half
and place one half of the dough in a resealable plastic bag for future pizza use. It can
be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. You will use the other half
of the dough for the following pizza recipe. This recipe makes enough dough for two
2 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 medium ripe, firm California Bartlett Pears peeled, cored, and cut into 8 pieces
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 portion of Simple Pizza Dough
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp cornmeal
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
125 g prosciutto
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
fresh basil leaves
1. In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat.
Add the sliced pears. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes, until the
pears are soft and caramelized. Let the pears cool down to room temperature. Save
any leftover caramel for drizzling onto yogurt or serving over ice cream, etc.
2. In a small saucepan warm the balsamic vinegar over medium heat. Bring to a
simmer and reduce by half. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 450F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pizza dough out into
a 13-inch circle. Grease a 13-inch pizza pan, or rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tbsp of
olive oil. Sprinkle with the cornmeal. Fit the dough into the pan, then brush with 2 Tbsp
of olive oil. Top with the thinly sliced garlic. Top with 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Arrange the caramelized pears and prosciutto on top of the dough. Sprinkle with the
red pepper flakes and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 1
8-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown, and the crust is cooked in the
4. Remove from the oven, and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Top with arugula and
fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Makes 6 slices.